Page 79 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 9 (1950-1951)

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on them to preach sermons on the theme of Jewish books. The response to this
appeal was most gratifying and hundreds of rabbis and their congregations ar-
ranged book fairs, exhibits, lectures, discussions, contests, and plays.
In many communities, Jewish Community Centers took the initiative in organ-
izing community-wide programs. Limitations of space preclude the reporting on
even a small number of the thousands of local events tha t were held. In New York
City, the Metropolitan Jewish Book Council sponsored by the New York Metro-
politan Section of JWB stimulated exhibits in ten major libraries and many public
l ibrary branches. Ten radio and three television programs in addition to scores
of lectures and other activities were conducted by Centers, synagogues, and other
Jewish organizations. A symposium on “Great Jewish Books” was the opening
event of Jewish Book Month. A seminar for librarians of public and high school
libraries in New York City was held. In addition, leading booksellers, among them
Doubleday, Brentano’s and Scribner’s featured Jewish book exhibits.
Some 300 Jewish organizations cooperated in the community-wide observance
of Jewish Book Month sponsored by the Jewish Community Library of the Los
Angeles Jewish Community Council. The celebration, in which all public library
branches, colleges, and universities took part, was marked by literary programs
and exhibits and climaxed with a colorful ceremony at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre
which featured awards to ten authors and a dramatic presentation and choral
In Chicago, Maurice Samuel was the guest speaker at the main event of Jewish
Book Month. The Yiddish poet, H. Leivick, was featured in Detroit.
All the rabbis in Schenectady, N. Y., devoted their Book Sabbath sermons to
a review of
Challenging Years
by the late Dr. Stephen S. Wise. Community-wide
programs at the Jewish Community Center at Lynn, Mass., centering about four
Monday evening book events, were highlighted by a talk by Fanny Goldstein,
honorary president of the Jewish Book Council, and a symposium on “Building
an American Jewish Culture.”
Other city-wide Book Month affairs with Jewish Community Centers, Jewish
education bodies or community councils as sponsors and coordinators were held
at Philadelphia, Pa. , Indianapolis, Ind., Chattanooga, Tenn. , Stamford, Conn.
San Francisco, Calif, (under the aegis of the Associated Jewish Organizations),
Washington, D.C., Mt . Vernon, N. Y., Bridgeport and New Haven, Conn., Spring-
field and Boston, Mass. (the lat ter under the sponsorship of the Greater Boston
Council of Jewish Centers, the Public Library and Bureau of Jewish Education).
A Hebraica exhibit at the Quincy, Mass., Jewish Community Center featured
objects of arts including prints by Szyk, Chagall and Raskin and stamps and cer-
emonial objects from Yemen, Israel, Europe and America. In Mt . Vernon, N.Y. ,
unique wood carvings on literary themes attracted many to the display at the
YMHA. In Springfield, Mass., the Jewish Community Center sponsored an ex-
hibit of rare books and in addition displayed a collection of 33 original paintings
by noted Jewish artists.
At Elizabeth, N. J. , the YMHA set up three art exhibits at the main branch
of the public library, which included paintings by Max Bender and other Jewish
artists depicting Jewish life in Poland and Russia under the Russian Czars.
On the national level, the major Jewish agencies offered their wholehearted co-
operation through the preparation of program suggestions and the encouragement
of their local const ituents. The Jewish Chautauqua Society distributed our posters
and other materials to over 500 university and college libraries with whom it main-
tains contact. Reference to the extent of co-operation of other national organiza-
tions has been made in previous annual reports.
To encourage widespread home observance in honor of the Jewish book on the
last day of Jewish Book Month, the Jewish Book Council of America issued a spe-
cial program guide in English and Yiddish editions, enti tled
Jewish Book Festival.
The aim of the Fest ival is to provide another day among the opportunit ies in the
Jewish calendar for family gatherings. The twelve page, pocket-size festival pam-